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differences between right and left libertarianism?

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copycat042 Posted: Fri, Feb 17 2012 12:37 PM

I'm trying to wrap my brain around the differences between these two philosophies. Specifically, I would like to ask questions of a left libertarian.

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Malachi replied on Sat, Feb 18 2012 12:57 PM
They (left libertarians) reject property rights. They see land owners as petty kings, and consider their authority illegitimate. Thats all I have figured out so far.
Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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Left libertarian is such a broad designation that the difference within the group is in some cases much broader than the difference between the groups.  For example, Roderick Long is a left libertarian and his position is almost indestinguishable from Rothbard except that he is sympathetic to issues like feminism, equality, labor relations, etc.  He doesn't even really differ from "right" libertarians in that he thinks these things are best addressed by markets and non-aggression.  At the other end, you have Noam Chomsky, who is also a left libertarian, but uses the term to describe socialist anarchism.  In the middle you have all sorts of positions like mutualism, geolibertarianism, agorism and a bunch of philosophies that I am not familiar with.

So it really depends on whether you are talking about left libertarians of the market anarchist variety, or left libertarians of socialist variety.  

they said we would have an unfair fun advantage

"enough about human rights. what about whale rights?" -moondog
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Groucho replied on Sat, Feb 18 2012 1:33 PM

I've always thought of "right" and "left" libertarians as being what vaguely "libertarian-leaning"  (but commited neocon or socialist) authoritarians are sometimes branded as. Think of Glenn Beck and Bill Maher as the respective archetypes.

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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They (left libertarians) reject property rights. They see land owners as petty kings, and consider their authority illegitimate. Thats all I have figured out so far.

Exactly. Most left-libertarians are just anarcho-socialists who claim they believe in free markets.

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Reason.tv recently had one of the author of the book "Markets, not Capitalism" .     I started reading, and the introduction seemed to misrepresent what capitalism is.   I suppose the sort of left libertarianism I want to understand is the variety that promotes the "use as ownership" of the means of production, and sees paying a person for labor as exploitation of that person.     any insights?

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http://all-left.net/

This is a good resource, and it has articles from Gary Chartier and Charles Johnson, both of whom edited the book "Markest, not Captialism."  The whole right hand side of the webpage has links to articles which address any question you could possibly have.  "Liberty, Equality, Solidarity: Toward a Dialectical Anarchism" is the best article I've ever read on a comprehensive overview of the kind of left-libertarianism you are interested in.

they said we would have an unfair fun advantage

"enough about human rights. what about whale rights?" -moondog
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Wheylous replied on Sun, Feb 19 2012 1:25 PM

Reason.tv recently had one of the author of the book "Markets, not Capitalism" .     I started reading, and the introduction seemed to misrepresent what capitalism is.

The issue is one of semantics. People on here will insist that capitalism is in fact not what we have right now in the US. Instead, we have fascism/socialism/whatever. There are others who have decided to fight the same ideological fight, yet have discarded the word capitalism, because people think that we have capitalism today. They are, however, arguing essentially the same thing.

I suppose the sort of left libertarianism I want to understand is the variety that promotes the "use as ownership" of the means of production, and sees paying a person for labor as exploitation of that person.     any insights?

Try Forums of the Libertarian Left, though when I go there I tend to be given two-sentence snarky answers.

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I have tried such forums, mostly with similar results. I have had some people try to explain things in a respectful manner, but I cannot wrap my head around how certain things work without being able to trade labor or store value without sitting on it..  Many of the discussions came down to someone attempting to defend the labor theory of value.

I had that semantic discussion in the comments to the video I mentioned.

I have several setups for questions about who owns what, under which circumstances, but I cannot identify any underlying principle to that philosophy, except that trading for the labor of another, even under voluntary circumstances, is exploitative. But even this is unclear, according to whether the end result of the labor is some sort of tangible production.  Everything else seems to follow along the lines of  "if I feel it is unfair, it is not allowed".

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The left is almost automatically more relevant because it speaks the fashionable/customary language of relevant society.  Left libertarians care more about fashionable issues of "social currency" and "social signaling devices".  There is little incentive for a left winger to acknowledge anything below it's social status - so in general they have no incentive to give right liberarians ground.  There is nothing wrong with this, this is just the tendency of things - I think Nietzsche would call a group like this (or whomever happens to be at the top of the relevant order of things) "The Splendid Blonde Beast".

 

Right (Misean styled) liberterians are out of the fashionable circle of leftist/relevant language, and hence more socially fringe and isolated and less fashionable - which in a very real sense makes them more "wrong" in a certain way.  However (perhaps due to their isolation), they are able to describe the way the world functions, and the way the true nature of relevant power works in a much better way than any proceeding social theory has before it.

For the record, I think de facto leftism is already fatally sick and dying out, and all that remains is the customary/fashionable language and social signals it left behind - where "right" liberterianism is on the rise.

 

I think this is due to the internet.  As the printing press, urbanization, and industrialization before it - the internet makes all that much harder  to subsidize obviously stupid and defcient "social signaling" that fly contrar to the actual factual picture of obvious reality - hence the probable rapid dying of de facto leftism / left libertarianism.

 

What would be a better contrast would be between "right libertarianism" - which may be better stated as "Right Liberalism" vs "Left Liberalism".  The end result is Liberalism won a long time ago - though the "smarter" ones adopted fashionable leftist language - and hence thrived as opposed to us.  Either way, left-liberals actually say something - and this is where the real intellectual debate / world relevancy is at, not leftism.   Either way the left liberals certainly don't care about us, as they are much more socially relevant and established - which is once again, just the nature of the beast.

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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Wheylous replied on Mon, Feb 20 2012 8:10 PM

I think I am beginning to understand vive's posts :P

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skylien replied on Tue, Feb 21 2012 2:12 AM

copycat042:
I have tried such forums, mostly with similar results. I have had some people try to explain things in a respectful manner, but I cannot wrap my head around how certain things work without being able to trade labor or store value without sitting on it.. Many of the discussions came down to someone attempting to defend the labor theory of value.

I had that semantic discussion in the comments to the video I mentioned.

I have several setups for questions about who owns what, under which circumstances, but I cannot identify any underlying principle to that philosophy, except that trading for the labor of another, even under voluntary circumstances, is exploitative. But even this is unclear, according to whether the end result of the labor is some sort of tangible production. Everything else seems to follow along the lines of "if I feel it is unfair, it is not allowed".

This sounds pretty familiar. I had (have) the same problem. It is not possible for them to describe in rigorous manner (like catallactics) how their production process would work nor how they could prevent voluntary wage labor nor how it is exactly exploitive and to the disadvantage of certain people compared to other alternatives. All they are left with is finally the LTV, and some buzz words like base democracy, representative and delegation systems, recourse based economy, sky net (super computers) which calculates what should be produced in which quantity etc... I became frustrated discussing with them or reading those discussions. I guess it won’t be different for you at a certain point in time too (Of course maybe I am just too stupid...)

I am not speaking of any variety of left libs here since this seems to be a very broad field, but at least the ones who reject private property and wage labor.

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes, qui custodes custodient? Was that right for 'Who watches the watcher who watches the watchmen?' ? Probably not. Still...your move, my lord." Mr Vimes in THUD!
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---off topic---

I would like to find some sort of simulator that could mimic a government (or lack thereof) system.  something like runescape has some of the basic building blocks, with its hunting and trading system. Minecraft has potential, in its production system, but I have found nothing which fits the bill perfectly.  

Something with real people is ideal, but problematic, without a way to intice them to "labor", which has to be an activity which provides satisfaction without being "fun".

Something with autonomous agents, with randomly generated "satisfactions" could work, but I don't have the skill to approach anything remotely near that.

 

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Freedom4Me73986:

They (left libertarians) reject property rights. They see land owners as petty kings, and consider their authority illegitimate. Thats all I have figured out so far.

Exactly. Most left-libertarians are just anarcho-socialists who claim they believe in free markets.

 

 

Yep, that's right, it's all a big lie. I actually have a videotape of Roderick Long, Kevin Carson and Brad Spangler sitting around a tabe, smoking cuban (proves they're commies!) cigars, describing how hate free markets, and how soon, after we fall for their devilish plan, they will steal our property rights right from under our noses!

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copycat042:

Reason.tv recently had one of the author of the book "Markets, not Capitalism" .     I started reading, and the introduction seemed to misrepresent what capitalism is.   I suppose the sort of left libertarianism I want to understand is the variety that promotes the "use as ownership" of the means of production, and sees paying a person for labor as exploitation of that person.     any insights?

Markets Not Capitalism uses the same definition of capitalism that politicians, pundits and the lay person use, it's also a fantastic book.

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But if that definition is wrong, how does one defend true capitalism.  It is the same difficulty as rebutting Michael Moore.   He calls rabid wombats "puppies", points out the dangers of rabid wombats, and calls for and end to puppies.  How do you defend puppies, without pointing out that they are not , in point of fact, the rabid wombats that the media insists on calling them?

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Well, it's always important to remember that the term "capitalism" was actually brought into common usage by Proudhon, Blanc, and the Marx-Engles crowd, and was used to describe a system that we would call "crony-capitalism".  The word has been thrown about and redefined many times, which is why I think it's not a bad idea to minimize it's usage, as many people associate it with many different things.  It's the same idea as trying to promote "voluntarism" instead of "anarcho-capitalism".  Too many negative or confusing prexisting definitions.  Better to start over from scratch.

Markets, not Capitalism is next on my reading list.

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Libertarianism does not contain the false dichotomy of left and right.

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I would tend to agree, but I would also think that it would not contain the concept of public property, or of defining property ownership based on the use of that property instead of absolute ownership of that property regardless of who uses it.

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